Success Story for:
Yolonda Williams of Yolo’s Food for the Soul
Yolo’s “Food for the Soul” is a new restaurant that has become the latest member of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Yolonda Williams is a 25 year veteran of the United States Army and said after she retired she decided to make Clarksville her home and open the restaurant.
As she transitioned from active duty military to retiree she decided to register for the “Operation Boots to Business workshops” held at Ft. Campbell Kentucky, in February 2014. Following that workshop she registered for counseling and participated in additional workshops with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Austin Peay State University. Through the counseling sessions she learned how to write a business plan, and develop financial statements.
One of the initial issues Ms. Williams faced was funding, which led her to take an alternate approach to the business. She designed a logo and began operating initially as a catering service. In addition to catering she began utilizing networking opportunities to showcase her talents by participating in the Governors Square Mall Bridal Celebration.
Ms. Williams eventually went from catering to opening a full-service restaurant in June 2015, with $100,000.00 in capital infusion and nine employees. The restaurant continues to offer catering services.
Ms. Williams talked about her restaurant and especially their food. “Yolo’s “Food for the Soul” is a comfort food restaurant. I cook from my heart and it’s a home cooked meal without all of the hard work. It’s comfort food with a flair, that’s what we’ve got going on here at Yolo’s.”
I would highly recommend the TSBDC and the “Boots to Business Program.” These two programs allowed my vision to become a reality. Going into business is not an easy process and learning how to navigate the system and the steps to success through these two programs were value added to my experience. Feleesha Johnson and Tommie Causey not only explained they prepared me for what was ahead. The assistance with the business plan and the financial worksheets/Profit and loss forms all assisted me as I prepared my business plan. They were there to assist me from the beginning, and still here to continue to help. YOLO’s “Food for the Soul” is a real restaurant in Clarksville, Tennessee. I cannot thank them enough for the HELP!